Employee accused of punching client in his care

Deshawn Antamileo Brooks

ANDERSON — An employee of a group home, with repeated state violations for mistreating clients, is accused of punching a resident in his care in the face twice.

Deshawn Antamileo Brooks, 32, of Anderson was arrested on suspicion of Level 6 felony battery for causing injury to a mentally or physically handicapped person, said Madison County Sheriff Scott Mellinger.

Deputies were dispatched to the group home licensed through the Indiana State Department of Health as an intermediate care facility under the name REM Occazio LLC at 1012 Parkway Drive in Anderson at 7:47 p.m. Monday.

A 20-year-old resident diagnosed with autism and epilepsy told the deputy he was punched twice in the face by a staff member, Mellinger said.

The incident allegedly occurred when the staff was trying to get the man out of bed for the day, Mellinger said.

Deputies interviewed Brooks, the alleged victim and three other staff members who said Brooks was the only staff member in the room at the time of the reported incident.

According to state records, the group home has eight beds and serves clients between the age of 18 and 57.

Since 2016, the facility has been cited with 40 deficiencies. The state’s average for facilities over the same time period is 16 deficiencies.

On March 18, the state said the facility “must develop and implement written policies and procedures that prohibit mistreatment, neglect or abuse of the client.”

The facility was cited with the exact same deficiency on Feb. 6, 2017.

Other deficiencies found by the state include failure to equip areas with tables, chairs, eating utensils and dishes designed to meet the developmental needs of each client and that clients received all the food and beverages items on their menu.

During a survey by the state, the facility failed to offer clients anything to drink during a meal of dry cereal and instead of two slices of whole wheat toast, they were given “a plain piece of white bread on a plate.”

“The bread was not toasted,” according to the report.

The facility also failed to comply with emergency preparedness requirements on Aug. 6, 2018.

The Herald Bulletin made several attempts to contact the facility regarding the alleged attack and the state’s survey reports, but was unable to reach anyone at the group home.

Follow Traci L. Miller @_TraciMiller on Twitter, email her at traci.miller@heraldbulletin.com, or call her at 765-640-4805.